This webinar examines the unequal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Puerto Ricans, and Hispanics in general. For the first time, researchers will present data on Puerto Ricans on health and social impacts from stateside communities and in the island.


Luis M. Falcón, Ph.D, Associate Director, Center for Population Health, University of Massachusetts, Lowell,
Dr. Falcón is a social demographer. His research interests and publications are in the role of social and environmental factors in generating disparities — social, economic or of health. Current research is on health disparities with a particular focus on social support and psychosocial stress in the Hispanic population. He is currently principal investigator of a project on psychosocial stress and cardio-vascular disease at the NIH-funded Center on Population Health and Health Disparities (CPHHD) at Northeastern. He is also an investigator on a recently funded NIH grant investigating moderators of alcohol treatment outcomes for immigrant Hispanics. While at Northeastern, he was co-principal investigator of a five-year, $3.7 million NSF ADVANCE grant to increase the participation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers.


The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on psychosocial health and other social factors: preliminary results from the Boston Puerto Rican Health Study
Kelsey M. Mangano, PhD, RDN, Assistant Professor, Nutritional Science Program Director, Center for Population Health, University of Massachusetts, Lowell,

Dr. Mangano, Ph.D., R.D., is an active member of the Center for Population Health at UMass Lowell and Center for Microbiome Research at UMass Medical School. Professor Mangano also holds an Adjunct Faculty appointment at the Marcus Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife, Harvard Medical School affiliate. Professor Mangano’s research lab aims to elucidate mechanisms behind the impact of nutritional factors and food additives on musculoskeletal aging and the gut. Current mechanisms include alterations in the gut microbiome and metabolomic response to nutrition.

Josiemer Mattei, PhD, MPH, FAHA, Donald and Sue Pritzker Associate Professor of Nutrition, Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health,, 617-432-4012,
Dr. Mattei is the Donald and Sue Pritzker Associate Professor of Nutrition at the Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She investigates genetic, dietary, and psychosocial determinants of cardiometabolic diseases in racial/ethnic groups and underserved populations, as a framework to explain health disparities. Dr. Mattei combines epidemiological research with culturally-tailored interventions, both through original studies and collaborations in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Latin America. She is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leader and received the Mark Bieber Award for Outstanding Nutrition-related Research by the American Heart Association.

COVID-19 Equity Research Initiative
Nataly Rios, UCLA MURP 2022, Graduate Student Researcher, Center for Neighborhood Knowledge, University of California, Los Angeles,

Ms. Rios is a graduate student researcher at the Center for Neighborhood Knowledge. She is currently pursuing a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree at UCLA and holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Chicago. She has experience in public health research in New York City, working on projects that address gaps in care for communities of color.

Highlights of findings from the Covid dashboard, focusing on the “risk of exposure” of Puerto Ricans across the country

Edwin Melendez, Director, Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College

Dr. Meléndez has conducted considerable research in the areas of Puerto Rican and Latino studies, economic development, labor markets, and poverty.

How to use Centro Covid dashboard for local analysis of impacts
Jennifer Hinojosa, Research Associate & Data Center Coordinator Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College,
Ms. Hinojosa is a geographer by training, and in her role at El Centro, oversees analysis and data mapping GIS platform is to integrate Puerto Rico’s social, demographic, and economic data with GIS mapping capabilities to address current and future challenges related to post-Hurricane Maria.


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